Post Roundup: Money Advice for Nurses, Doctors and Those In the Medical Field
Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.
After more than 30 years as a nurse (most in the ICU), my mother retired last year just shy of her 62nd birthday. It was her goal to retire before this birthday milestone. She shares her story her as immigrant nurse from the Philippines doing what she could do survive and thrive in a new country. For this blog post, I thought I would round up some of the more popular blogs and posts from those who work in the medical industry. I’m working on getting her to share some of the strategies she used to save money as an immigrant, how she sent 3 kids to college and retired at 62. I think she will have many lessons and advice to share.
This post contains affiliate links. See Disclosures for details.
If you’ve ever read The Millionaire Mind, Dr. Stanley singled out physicians as being notoriously bad with accumulating wealth among high earning professionals. This was due in fact to the high debt that many physicians incur while in school, then to the continuous need to showcase a richer lifestyle and to the idea that they are smart enough to manage their own finances without any help. The reality with the last statement is that while many physicians can fully grasp financial concepts without issue, it is time that prevents them from taking action. This lack of action leads to late investment and a focus on income statement affluence vs. balance statement influence. Two concepts Dr. Stanley observed in the millionniare mind.
So without further ado, here are some writers, bloggers and financial advisers that have a lot of insight into working in the medical field, from nurses to physicians to pharmacists and how to live and work in such a way that financial independence is achievable early on.
If you are teacher or an educator, the post roundup for those in the field can be found here.
The RN Mentor
The RN Mentor is run by Matt who helps nurses make better financial decisions, enhance well being, and develop professionally, so they can unlock the potential fulfillment of their careers. Many of his articles/posts focus on elevating one’s career as a nurse.
The Nursing Shortage: A Fast Pass into the Middle Class - In this post Matt talks about how taking advantage of a nursing shortage allowed him to pursue a career that was in high demand without incurring a large amount of debt. With the U.S. population aging, there is a high demand for nurses and it doesn’t always have to mean spending a lot of money with a Bachelor’s degree. One can start with an Associate Degree and increase education and income potential from there. My mother came to the U.S. in the 1980s. At that point in time, America again had a nursing shortage. One of the Philippines biggest export at that time were English speaking workers. Nurses specifically had been trained using the US health educational system so transitioning skills was easier to do.
Preparing for Income-omic Collapse - I’ve written about DINKs (double-income, no kids) and being in this stage of life offers so many advantages and opportunities. By taking advantage of this time frame where both you and your spouse are accumulating wealth and assets, you will then be in a better position down the line to entertain the possibility of becoming a single-income family. Matt talks about taking advantage of overtime hours pre-kids to bank as much money as they could.
Financial Goal Setting with Financial Triage - This is a good analogy of why it’s important to assess the current state of your finances in the same way that you would assess the current state of your patient. You can only know your next action item once you’ve take a look at the big picture and figure out what is critical to you and what is critical to you will be based on what your financial values are.
Code Blue – Resuscitate your Finances with ABCs - Sticking with the triage theme, in the same vein that you apply the Basics of Life Support - Airway, Breathing and Circulation, the ABCs of The ABCs of personal finances involve limiting the three greatest expenses in life. These expenses are:
Choice of Foods
Physician on Fire
PoF, the Physician on FIRE, is an anesthesiologist who attained attained financial independence at age 39. There are so many amazing articles and resources on that site that I am not sure where to even start.
A Tale of 4 Physicians: The Impact of Lifestyle - A look at 4 physicians and how lifestyle can affect time to retirement given all else remain equal in terms of income. Just goes to show you that personal decisions have an impact. Of course, there was a question in the comments about why a physician would want to retire early given time put in for schooling, the prestige of being a doctor, and the high income, but I think that decision is ultimately up to the individual who may have other plans and goals with their life.
Top 5 Ways for Physicians to Attack Student Loans - This might be one of the most important posts especially for those just coming out of school. I’m not familiar with all of these options, but see if one stands out for you.
Future Proof MD is a resident physician and personal finance enthusiast who enjoys serving up digestible money tips with a focus on topics relevant to young medical professionals. Unfortunately, this blog is no longer being updated as frequently due to other committments and obligations, but I do encourage you to peruse a lot of the old articles for insights. You never know what idea sparks something in you.
Navigating between Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) and Student Loan Refinancing - Student loans are currently the biggest hurdle to wealth accumulation for almost everyone that graduated in the past 10 years and those who will graduate regardless of major or career choice. This is another strong article on what the options are for debt repayment. Remember that the sooner you eliminate debt, the faster you can use that money to invest and make that money work for you. Read more about what the FI/RE (financial independene/retire early) community thinks about paying debt vs. saving/investing.
The White Coat Investor is a practicing board-certified emergency physician 12 years out of residency.
The White Coat Investor Philosophy - Start with this post so you have a sense of what WCI is all about. Some of these may sound basic, but it’s the basic foundation that allows all of us to have a secure footing. It will also give you an intro to the podcast (which I have not listened to), but if you prefer to listen on your daily commute instead of read, then I would recommend popping in your ear buds for this instead of listening to music. Just sayin’.
My Plan to Graduate Medical School Debt Free - For those that haven’t started medical school yet, but have plans to, take a look at this article to get ideas on how to reduce debt before even starting med school. A little planning goes a long way.
The White Coat Investor also runs a scholarship for cash, gift certificates and access to online courses. It might be worth applying to get some dollars out of it. Who knows, you could win a few thousand dollars towards loans or win access to an online course to up your investing or personal finance knowledge. Read more about that here.
If you can’t wait to win a scholarship, make the investment and take either of the following personal finance course online via Creative Live. Highly recommended and you can do so in your own time. Very helpful for beginners or those that need to understand the basics of personal finance. Both of these classes are taught by NYTimes best selling authors.
The Debtist is a dentist who graduated with a lot of student debt, over $550,000. A series of life changes and discoveries reshaped her lifestyle to find happiness in things that don’t require consumerism. She’s a bit younger that most of the writers here, an actual millennial so I love her perspective.
Dear College Kid: Pursuing Medicine Will Not Get You to Financial Independence Faster - An honest advice for those that want to get into the profession. She explains what the FIRE movement is and how going into medicine can delay that journey. It’s important that we teach this to young people so that they are aware of how their career choices can impact their lifestyle. Equally important is to figure out how to reduce student loan debt by being smart about the classes you take, graduating on time or earlier, and finding alternative ways to pay for school.
The Ever Growing List of Things I’ve Given Up in the Name of Frugality - There’s certainly many ways to reach financial independence but understanding the 3 Pillars of Spend Less, Earn More and Invest the Rest is key. Frugality certainly has a place early on as a means to save and get everything in order. This is a great list. Don’t think of frugalism as being cheap. It’s about not being wasteful and using community and your skills to be more self-sufficient.
Dr. Wise Money is a 1st year resident (PGY2) in the Department of Medical Imaging at University of Arizona. DWM firmly believes that financial freedom makes better and happier doctors.
Learn Your Match and Buy Property In the Area - I’m not too familiar with the concept of Match Day, but I get the gist of it and this is an interesting article on how you can plan to minimize housing costs in the city where you will spend many years studying and working.
The Frugal Pharmacist is a “financially secure” 30 something pharmacist, wife and a mother.
Working Mom – Never Enough Time - The true reality of any mom, whether they work full-time or part-time out of the home is that there’s never enough time. It’s important to acknowledge the “working mom guilt” and figure out ways to address it and talk about it.
I wish I had more women in this post. I just didn’t find a lot of women in the medical field sharing their personal finance knowledge, stories or guidance. It is another item to add to the plate. If you identify as a woman and blog about your professional and personal finance, please let me know so that I may add you to this list. I believe it’s important to get a range of perspectives and as always, I find that a woman’s perspective also varies from the man.